UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

Example of Monthly Letter

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One of my greatest delights is teaching people to be "fisher-followers of Jesus!" For the past 5 years I have been doing this regularly at a church in Naples that believes in equipping its members how to share their faith. It regularly schedules a six-week class on FRIENDS evangelism.

I continue to use the FRIENDS model because I believe through years of experience:

- it is the best for 'making disciples' not just decisions;

- it fits into the natural life styles of most people; and

- it privileges those who practice it as God specifically answers their prayers!

To summarize, the "F" stands for "Fish for a FEW People in your natural social settings." This includes neighbors, business associates, recreational friends, personal friends, family members, servers at restaurants you frequent, etc. Each class member is required to write out names after a time of prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to give them names of persons who need to come to know Jesus.

The "R" stands for "REVEAL the gospel by the things you do for the FEW in the days to come." This involves intentionally relating to the FEW in as many ways as possible to help establish a common and natural caring relationship. Such action 'earns the right to be heard' in the future.

The "I" is the key. It stands for INTERCEDE regularly (hopefully daily) for the FEW. It is "talking to God first about the FEW before talking to the FEW about God." This allows John 6:44 to activate: Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me draws him or her." Wow! This is where much of the excitement comes in! FRIENDS fishing-followers continually see the Father in the process of drawing the FEW! God-cidenes happen!

Here is an excellent example:

Bev works at a design company in Naples, FLorida. During the opening moments of the class she wrote the name of her boss, Art, into the "FEW" column. Soon the whole class began to "I" INTERCEDE for each name that was listed in that column. I teach class members to formulate their prayers from Scriptures such as 1 Timothy 2:3-4, substituting the names of the FEW in place of the appropriate nouns. "O God our Savior, I know that it is good,acceptable, and desirous in Your sight that people such as Art etc. be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. As I pray for these people now, draw them to Your self. In Jesus' name. Amen."

Each week, the class begins with "fishing reports!" These are updates regarding the various ways the Holy Spirit is causing the FEW to 'nibble' at the bait! Some weeks there is no action; some have slight nibbles; and some reveal that a fish has been caught 'hook, line, and sinker!' God-cidences! During these times there is always a certain amount of spiritual-electricity in the air!

At the end of the classes, each 'fisher-follower' is required to present a three minute written testimony of his or her journey in becoming a believer. The outline is: one minute a piece on 1. What my life looked like before I came to Christ, 2. How I came to believe in Christ, and 3. What my life is like since receiving Christ.

Let me now fast forward this story about Bev and Art. One year from the time Bev entered the class, Art gave his life to Christ AND enrolled in the FRIENDS class as a student. Here is a summary of his written testimony, and I quote only his opening statement and his closing sentences:

"As of January 2010 I was an extremely happy and satisfied atheist!"

"I didn't know last January that one of my employees, Bev, was a member of Dr. Rand's FRIENDS class. She had the audacity of putting my name on her FEW list, and as I found out later, even circled it! I guess I didn't have a chance! Through the witness of both her life and her lips, I met Jesus Christ as my personal Savior! This stuff works! To God be the glory!

Now, may I encourage you to go and FRI some fish of your own!

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